Keep Going

A friend wrote this to me –

Dear Lisa,

I don’t believe I am going to get better, and I don’t know what to do anymore. This feels like a nightmare from which I cannot wake up. I know people say to stay positive, but I don’t know how, especially when, every day, I read comments in the group with people who are several years out, and have not improved. I know people say everyone is different, but after more than a year, I have a feeling I am one of the unfortunate few that never recover. What should I do?

Here is my response –

Dearest friend,

I think that you should just keep going. That’s all that is really required of you, or anyone else – just not giving up. In not giving up you are being hopeful. Eventually, it will become easier to not give up. Eventually, it will be effortless. At least that’s what I hope for you.

I recently got an email from someone who recovered after 8 years. 8 years is frightening, for sure. But she recovered. It did happen.

I encourage you to find something that makes you feel just a little bit better. Maybe that’s sunshine, or funny movies, or acupuncture, or magnesium, or whatever – and do that thing every day until the little incremental improvements add up.

And just don’t give up.

Try to believe that it will get better. It’s okay to not always believe that you will improve. But as long as you’re not giving up, things will change. Maybe they will change for the better. I hope that for you!

That’s what I think you should do. I hope that what I said doesn’t seem to trivialize your situation in any way. I know that it’s scary and I know that fear that it won’t end is normal. I think that just continuing on is difficult sometimes. That’s what I suggest you do though.



Post Script To All:

I wish you all healing, love, happiness, recovery and everything else that your heart desires.  I’m sorry that this whole ordeal happened to you.  I’m sorry for the pain.  I’m sorry for the suffering.  I’m sorry for the fear and the hopelessness.  I hope that it all passes.  I hope that you find your way back to health and happiness.

I know that sometimes it feels like it won’t pass, like you’re stuck in a hole and will never be able to crawl out of it.  It will pass though.  I can’t promise that you will recover completely, or that you’ll get your former abilities, or yourself, back.  But I can promise you that this difficult moment will pass.  It will change.  Eventually you will stop falling down the hole, and you will start to improve; to emerge.

When you emerge, you’ll have all sorts of gifts that you didn’t ever want.  Empathy and compassion for those with chronic, mysterious diseases, patience for yourself, faith in your resilience, etc.  Those things are possible.  They’re down that hole – look around and you’ll find them.

I am inclined to write trite sayings about this, and I’m not sure if they help or hurt.  Hang in there.  It will pass.  Breathe.  And just keep going.  That is my advice.

And know, in every part of your being, in every breath you take, that you are loved.

It helps.  I swear, it does.



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31 thoughts on “Keep Going

  1. Emily D. February 5, 2014 at 12:41 pm Reply

    Boy was this ever a post I needed, just at the moment I needed it. Thank you.

  2. Mark A Girard February 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm Reply

    Heartfelt and well written as usual Lisa. Thanks for doing all you are doing!

    • Lisa Bloomquist February 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm Reply

      My pleasure, Mark! And again, thank you for all that you are doing as well!

  3. lisal knarlson February 5, 2014 at 2:35 pm Reply

    Rarely if ever, do I find what you say to be “trite” Lisa. Thank you!

  4. Ross T February 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm Reply

    This blog has been what keeps me going. Hearing the stories of people who have recovered in 6 months, 12 months, or even years later give me so much hope that one day I will be better.

    I am only 24 and have been sick a decent amount in my life, prior to this whole floxing BS. Years of sinus infections and ear infections. Surgeries, procedures, I’ve even had a colonoscopy and endoscopy at age 21. (It’s funny telling your parents what to expect consider it was around the time they both were due for their first)

    I always have gotten better. I even had a virus doctors told me was probably HIV due to how my immune system was reacting. Thankfully it was a common virus and I had just let my immune system take a major dive (thanks college lifestyle and being overstressed.) In those times, I struggled to “keep going” but I always managed. I would make terrible choices leaving me sick. Doctors have never diagnosed things properly, that I am sure I suffer from; gluten intolerance, GERD, IBS, gastrointestinal issues and sinus issues have plagued me, and doctors have never been able to CURE me.

    I was floxed in September by a CVS nurse. I told her about my history of sinus infections, and she said “here’s a stronger antibiotic, it will help” I said I’d never heard of it, could I have one I knew worked? She said no, this will do the trick. I listened. I didn’t feel well. I wanted to just BE better.

    The first month following was quite a roller coaster of mental and physical nightmares. It’s been 5 months and things are much better, but I wouldn’t considered myself healed. Not yet. But one day.

    I get excited knowing one day I will be a submission on this site. That gives me hope. One day I will be able to run again without worry of achilles pain acting up. One day I hope I can drink alcohol without feeling major anxiety and a racing heart for the following 2-3 days. One day I will be able to enjoy a normal diet. It’s knowing there is a ONE DAY. It might be tomorrow, it might be a month from now. Things could get worse, but they will get better. One day. I hope one day soon. I hope one day soon for everyone that reads these posts. We can’t change the fact we ingested a poison. All we can do is have hope in our bodies and the incredible abilities they have to repair ourselves.

    • Lisa Bloomquist February 5, 2014 at 9:59 pm Reply

      Dear Ross,

      I’ve read your comment at least ten times and I get teary every time I read it. They’re hopeful, connected, grateful, inspired tears – not tears of pity or sorrow. Thank you so much for your kind and wise words! Your outlook on life is inspirational and powerful. Your words are beautiful. I look forward to reading your recovery story – whenever you are ready to write it.

      Best regards,

  5. Barbara February 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm Reply

    Thanks Lisa, just for caring. For taking the time, and putting in your energy. Thank you.

  6. Lane February 5, 2014 at 11:14 pm Reply

    Lisa – this site and your words are like a beacon of light in this floxed fog; thank you for everything you do for us.

    • Lisa Bloomquist February 6, 2014 at 9:09 am Reply

      It’s the right thing to do, Lane. It’s my pleasure to do what I can.

  7. Joanne February 6, 2014 at 11:23 am Reply

    Thank you all! Every post is just beautiful!! I my three year floxiversary comes up in April. I feel like I was about 50% at year one, 75% at year two, and about 85% now. Will I ever fully recover? I think there is a good chance of it. But that is not my focus. I’ve always thought since my initial floxing, that if “this” is all I am now, I want to be the best “this” possible. Life has changed, in many ways for the better. I have never been more in love with my husband, more in awe of my children, more thankful for the people with whom I work, more full of faith,…. DON’T GIVE UP!! The best is still yet to come!! Hugs! 🙂

    • Lisa Bloomquist February 6, 2014 at 2:43 pm Reply

      Thank you for your beautiful comment, Joanne! It’s inspirational! I am so glad that you have come to peace with where you’re at, and that where you’re at is a good place full of love and gratitude. Finding peace is huge. It’s key. I even think that it helps with healing.

      Hugs back to you!

  8. Double J February 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm Reply

    I still love the positive aura this site brings everyone.

    I’m over 4 months out of a mild/moderate reaction. I was given 28 days of Cipro for a ‘suspected’ bacterial infection. Seemed to make sense, and the doctor was an older fellow who had awards and was highly regarded in the community. He also prescribed me with 30 days of Meloxicam (NSAID!!) since I was having some pain in that area. “Take these if it gets bad”.

    I never was much of a pain med taker. A few asprin here or there for extreme headaces. I decided to go to work one day and take a Meloxicam there so I could work without much distraction. Well, I was so weak and lightheaded after that and for the next 24 hours. Having never taken Meloxicam I figured I just didn’t react well or maybe that’s how stronger painkillers make you feel. I went back to just taking low dose asprin to keep my mind on work and such. Later on I’d split the meloxicam in 1/2 and take those. I took maybe 3 pills total, on top of various amounts of low dose asprin.

    Finally realized at about 24 days in that the Cipro was the real culprit. By then I had severe insomnia, heart burn and other digestive pain. Still didn’t know about NSAIDs. No one mentioned it. EVER. Went back to the urologist about 32 days later. he offered more Cipro. I flat out refused, and I guess that made him “done with me”. I was told to take more NSAIDs as needed and what I really had was chronic prostitatis vs. bacterial prostitis. Of course bacterial prostate infections are very rare as in maybe %10 of the cases reported.

    I don’t know how I escaped this as well as I did. It was scary, that’s for sure. Reading about NSAIDS that finally connected the dots.

    It went down hill not even 3 days off Cipro. Had a major muscle start spasming in my left arm, severe insomnia, massive reflux that brought tears to my eyes at night. Funny thing was the lack of tendon issues or joint issues. Was I still floxed? That’s when I read about Peripheal Neuropahty. DING DING.

    My body was a vibrating nightmare for about 3 weeks, then the insomnia started to fade with the help of some low-dose melatonin. The vibrating/fuzzy feeling stopped about a month later, however there was now various muscle twitching/spasming in my arms, legs, flanks and shoulders. Big visible twitching. Heartburn was still there but was responding to Zantac (150mg 2x). I HATED having to take the Zantac, but it worked.

    By 2 months the tightness in my calves started. Not painful, but scary. Too afraid to walk too fast, or bend over or do anything that could make it worse. Started taking SlowMag and other various pills. I don’t know if anything helped, but it didn’t seem to hurt either. The heartburn is gone now, at least the painful part. I come off Zantac, I WANT an acidic stomach. Muscle twitching is still there, more random but less often.

    3 Months out I finally begin to feel ‘better’. Heartburn almost gone however I seem to have ‘silent reflux’ (google it). I deal with it for now. Muscle twitching is no longer visible and only in my lower legs or rarely my arms/shoulders. I sleep well most nights, but still wake up at least once but seem to fall back asleep ok. I start having dreams again. No more melatonin most nights.

    Now (4+): Silent reflux still bugs me, going to try DGL chews and a few other things as well as consult a “gasp” doctor. I don’t want throat cancer. I’ll refuse PPIs and maybe go back on Zantac, we’ll see.

    Insomnia is all but gone. I’ve actually drank some caffiene. I think that coffee is an issue for my reflux, but I’ve had two cups and still went to sleep on time.

    Muscle twitching is almost none. It’s more of quick spasam bursts that aren’t visible. Just enough to remind me they are there. Magnesium? I took both Magnesium Oxide and Magnesium Chloride (SlowMag). Also been drinking Tart Cherry Juice off and on. I have 0 idea if any of this helped.

    So this brings me to how I feel today. I feel great of course that I appear to be going uphill instead of down. However, I feel terrible that I was able to take Cipro for 24 days plus random NSAIDs including prescription strength Meloxicam and come out of this near unscathed. It’s not fair. People take 1 pill and are totally disabled.

    Like Lisa, I feel so bad this happened to me, you, and everyone else. But look, we have Lisa. We have positive messages being delivered. Good always triumphs over evil.

    • Lisa Bloomquist February 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m so sorry about the ignorance of your doctors that led you to this situation. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? I’m glad that your health is improving and that you “feel great of course!” That’s fantastic!

      Isn’t it strange how one pill can obliterate some people while others can take multiple courses and tolerate them fine? It’s so bizarre.

      Feeling guilty about your recovery does nobody any good. I am grateful that you recovered. I am grateful that I recovered. I hope and pray that others do too!

      The truth will prevail. It may be inconvenient for doctors and it may make them realize that they have been bamboozled, but it will prevail. 🙂

  9. brian February 20, 2014 at 11:35 am Reply

    Hi Double J. Thanks for your post. I was wondering how you know you have silent reflux. I had GERD for many years pre-floxing. I also took Zantac for many years. Then post-flow, I started to become more aware of health issues especially healthy diet. I gave up dairy, gluten, sugar, and booze. My GERD went away and I stopped taking Zantac. But in the past month or so I think I’m having some kind of reflux. My voice is hoarse and I often wake up with a bad taste in my mouth. I acid though. I’ve tried HCL supplements, but those gave me severe GI problems so I don’t think my problem is lack of acid. What kind of doctor are you going to see about this. I think most traditional doctors will just try to put you on PPIs…

    • Double J February 24, 2014 at 11:22 am Reply

      Brian: What you describe sounds alot like silent reflux, which is reflux without any pain but all the other symptoms. You can try DGL Chews, and D-Limonene and see if that helps. There are some good publications on D-Limonene. Also research Melatonin for GERD type issues, but remember it can also mess with your sleep cycle. If GERD issues are bothering you at night, try lifting the head of your bed up a few inches (pillows don’t count).

      I haven’t found a doctor yet willing to listen, so I’m not really seeing one. I’m on my 3rd new Doctor so far. I am going to look into Acupuncture and a Naturlist / Holositc doctor.

      My symptoms are heavy mucus in the throat kind of like post-nasal drip feeling, constant cough/clearing due to mucus and lots of belching/bloating. This leads me to believe it’s painless reflux due to low stomach acid. I do get some burning in the back of the throat time to time but it doesn’t last long.

    • Lisa Bloomquist February 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm Reply

      I suggest that both of you read Bill’s story and note that the symptoms for too little stomach acid are almost identical to the symptoms of too much stomach acid. Apparently there is a pretty simple test to see how much stomach acid you have. Here is how Bill described it in an email:

      “The gastrogram works like this: You swallow a tiny pH meter with a radio transmitter in a little pill. It measures pH level of your stomach and transmits it to a receiver you wear around on your neck. They monitor this for about 45 minutes to get a baseline pH level. At the end of this, you drink about a quarter of a cup of water with some baking soda mixed in. As soon as it hits your stomach, the pH will rise very suddenly. At this point the test begins in earnest: what happens to your pH at that point? If you have too much stomach acid, the pH measure was already very low even before the baking soda. If you have too little, like was in my case, the pH will rise and flatline at the higher level. After 20 more minutes they had enough info to diagnose me and determine how much HCl I was to take with meals — you don’t want too much either.”

      He also mentioned some mixed feelings about the Gastrogram, so please be careful with it.

      Best regards,

  10. John March 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm Reply

    We have no choice. We all have to survive and tell every one about this . I going to have some shirts made that say you been cipro Lately please ask . Every one of us that makes it can stand up and give the big finger to bayer . I am not pissed but we got screwed . One thing I know is you have to be floxed to under stand what we have gone threw . If you haven’t you will not truly understand . Do not give up

    • Lisa Bloomquist March 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm Reply

      AMEN, John! We have to fight those who did this to us. There is nothing okay about what has been done to us and there is nothing okay about it happening to others. We will fight, and we will win, because we have both the truth, and science, on our side.

  11. Sarah Flynn July 16, 2014 at 12:32 pm Reply

    It took me 2 years before I started recovering even a tiny bit….but year 2-3 was dramatic! I had to make some serious changes, but they worked. Don’t lose hope!

  12. Mike July 21, 2014 at 9:20 am Reply

    What serious changes Sarah? I’m at 2 and 1/2 years out and my condition is the worst its been so far, although I had a delayed reaction. It’s a real struggle to stay positive at this point.

  13. Cindy November 2, 2015 at 8:16 am Reply

    Lisa…I would like to thank you again for starting this site…I do not remember how I found it but without it I do not know what I would have done….My heart breaks when I read the stories….I feel so bad for everyone…I find it amazing how a pill can do so much damage sometimes for years to someone’s body…and the Doctor’s will just deny it…I have got some really good information on this site and I have seen some improvement…I will not complain because I am so much better off than all the stories I have read….Lisa you have become a Friend & Angel to a lot of people on this site…I wish Good Karma to you for the rest of your life…..

    • Lisa Bloomquist November 2, 2015 at 6:29 pm Reply

      Hi Cindy,

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I’m so glad that you found this site too! I’m also glad that you’re seeing some improvement. It’s a process, for sure – and sometimes a long one – but you will get through it. It’s nice to know that recovery is possible – it’s why I started this site. You’ll get there.

      Huge hugs,

  14. Daniel L November 3, 2015 at 6:43 pm Reply

    Did you know? Despite having written War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Tolstoy, at age 51, looked back on his life and considered it to be a meaningless failure.

    In his work: “My Confession” he describes losing his faith and seeking it in all sorts of places, from philosophy to science, and not finding it anywhere.

    One day while out hunting with a gun, he considered taking his life, until he realized that he hadn’t lost his faith at all. The fact that he kept going, kept looking, was faith itself.

    Hope isn’t an idea we have, it’s something we do, and it is built one little action at a time.

  15. Heath October 2, 2016 at 7:50 am Reply

    I really needed to read this thank you

  16. L October 2, 2016 at 5:39 pm Reply

    You’ve got a way with words, Lisa. That was perfect. I would also like to tell your friend that for months I thought I was dying. Furthermore, I wanted to die. Words don’t exist to describe the nightmarish hell I was living in, the worst of 30 bad side effects being suffocating like breathing for months. I kept thinking “I wonder if this is what water-boarding feels like?” It was grotesque beyond imagination. And I kept thinking I would be like that for the rest of my life…which is one reason I wanted it to end. IT was just nonstop torture—and that was on top of visual disturbances, excruciating pain and dropping down to a fragile 112 lbs. I hung in there, in spite of the fear—or maybe because I couldn’t see an alternative—no surefire way out. It am now about one year an 8 months out and while I still have some side effects, I am back out in the world, and about 85-90% recovered.

    So you never know…it could be tomorrow or the next day. With me the changes were so subtle, I realized that some side effects had disappeared in retrospect. And I know everyone is different, but I do credit the IVs with starting me back on the path to recovery. Hang in there!

  17. Kevin January 8, 2018 at 5:32 pm Reply

    Thank you…. Today I really needed to hear that. It’s been 7 and a half years. Some things better some still the same but we just got to keep moving forward. It’s wonderful to have the positivity that everyone provides.

    • Cindy Schmidt January 9, 2018 at 5:35 pm Reply

      Lisa….I just wanted to update from my 2015 post….because of this site I was able to do many of the things to help me heal….now when I go to the hospital I do not let them give me any of the group that damaged me…Levaquin….They put a red band on my arm now..I find it amazing the many nurses do not even know about this group….I tell them do some research and you will understand the dangers…To all the people that are damaged read the stories and you will get good info to help you improve like I did….every person is different so keep an open mind….I found “Ruth’s Story” very helpful to me….The woman is very smart and really knows what she is talking about….I wish all of you for this new year hope …Stay Strong..There is a light at the end of the tunnel….Thanks again Lisa for starting this Awesome Group for All of Us that were Damaged…

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